Saturday, June 25, 2016

Coming Soon: Justice and Vengeance: Scandal, Honor, and Murder in 1872 Virginia

Just in time for the completion of the renovation of the Brentsville Jail comes a book about one of the most sensational and dramatic murders in Prince William County:

"In Justice and Vengeance, Arwen Bicknell offers the first full account of the events leading up to the shooting of James Clark by Lucien Fewell and the sensational, headline-grabbing murder trial that followed. Set against the backdrop of Reconstruction, tumultuous Virginia politics, and the presidential election of 1872 featuring Ulysses Grant, Horace Greeley, and protofeminist Victoria Woodhull, the first female presidential candidate, Bicknell paints a vivid picture of the evolving South as she traces the families and fortunes of Lucien Fewell, a hellraiser with a passion for drink and for abusing Yankees and scalawags, and James Clark, a rising legal and political star with a wife, a daughter, and a baby on the way."

Justice and Vengeance by Arwen Bicknell is available for preorder here.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Shopping Saturday: Undertaker

Manassas Democrat
16 March 1911

G. D. Baker, of Manassas, will open an undertaking establishment here at the Hill, with James B. Cole as manager.  We are in a quandary whether to wish this firm extensive success in business or not.  Anyway we know we won't be the first customers if we can help it.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Newspaper Tidbit: PWCo Unclaimed Dead Get a Proper Farewell at Woodbine Cemetery

InsideNova printed a nice article about the June 7 memorial and interment of the remains of 41 unclaimed citizens at Woodbine Cemetery, in partnership with Woodbine Church and the PWCo Sheriff's Office. The article includes a list of the deceased and their dates of death.

Many thanks to InsideNova and reporter Jill Palermo for their interest and compassion in helping to honor 41 souls who may have gone forgotten.

The e-edition of the article can be found here.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Follow Up: Memorial & Interment of PWCo Unclaimed Deceased

On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, the Prince William County Sheriff’sOffice and Woodbine Baptist Church came together to provide a memorial service and a peaceful final resting place in the Woodbine Church Cemetery for the remains of 41 unclaimed deceased persons. 

Sheriff Glen Hill
(photo by C. Lynn)
The memorial service was officiated by Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Eugene R. Wells, who opened with prayer and presented the PWCo Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard.  Additional speakers included Sheriff Glen Hill, Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish, and Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Don Belanus.  The name of each deceased person was read aloud.
Virginia law charges local sheriff's offices with taking custody of deceased unclaimed residents, but it does not say how officials are supposed to dispose of them.
Sheriff Glen Hill stated, “I am grateful that Prince William County Sheriff’s Office is able to serve the unclaimed citizens of Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, and provide a noble funeral for them through our partnerships with community organizations.”
In Prince William, the Sheriff’s Office contracts with various crematoriums for cremation, then in partnership with Woodbine Cemetery each unclaimed resident is supplied with a burial plot. Woodbine Cemetery has been gracious in providing space for the deceased unclaimed residents at no cost.  – Virginia Sheriff’s Association
Eastern Memorials of Manassas created and donated a beautiful granite memorial to mark the resting place of Prince William County’s unclaimed deceased citizens.  The memorial can be viewed in the cremation garden in Woodbine Church Cemetery.  In addition, the names of the deceased can be found on a newly created web page,

Following are the names of the unclaimed deceased persons buried at Woodbine Church Cemetery on June 7, 2016:
Douglas Allen, Linda Archer, Betty Bayse, Eva B Cantello, John Crawford, John Ignatius Ciccolini, Larry Dixon, Maria Ehler, Daniel Eshelman, Laura Lynn Farley, Wallis Ray Fay, James Alberto Fletcher, George Freeberg, Stacy Green, Donnie Lee Grogg, Laurel Hauer, Robert Miller Justice II, Thomas H.C. Langel, Donald L. Marks Jr., Roberto Martinez-Rosa, Joseph A. Moneymaker Sr., Conception Ortiz, Paul Oullette, David Patton, Ronald Henry Payne, Mark Pennington, Reginald Poindexter, Gilbert F. Randall, Tyrone Powell Reid, Sa Say, Mark Settle, Omer Shipe, Angel Steele, Eran Stokley, Dolores Sullivan, John Sullivan, Donald Thomas, Michael David Vincent, Robert T. Wiedner, and two unnamed residents. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wednesday's Child: Walter Lenox Wheeler

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC)
29 June 1840


At the residence of Mr. Thos. W. Hughlett, Northumberland county, Virginia, on Thursday morning, the 21st of May, in the 36th year of her age, Mrs. Eliza Henry, consort of Dr. Edward H. Henry, and daughter of John Fitzhugh, Esq. of Prince William County, Va.

On Sunday afternoon, the 28th instant, Walter Lenox, only child of Theodore and Lucy Wheeler, aged 21 months.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Will: Margret Fairfax (1853)

Will of Margret Fairfax
PWCo Will Book R, pg. 3

I Margret Fairfax of the county of Prince William and State of Virginia, do make this my last will and testament in manner and form as follows, I desire that all my just debts & funeral expenses be paid out of my perishable property.

I give to my daughter Susan Simpson all that tract or parcel of land on which I now reside formerly the land belonging to Hezekiah Fairfax dec’d, and all my household and kitchen furniture, during her life, and at her death, there to her heirs forever. Given under my hand this 5th day of February 1853.

Margret Fairfax

Geo. Weedon
Matthew Priest
Matthew Davis

At a Quarterly court held for Prince William county November the 6th 1866
    This last will and testament of Margaret Fairfax deceased was proved in open court by the oath of George Weedon and Matthew Priest two of the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.


M. B. Sinclair clerk

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Event: Memorial & Interment of PWCo Unclaimed Deceased Citizens

In Prince William County, the Sheriff's Department takes custody of and responsibility for the cremated remains of unclaimed deceased citizens which fall under their jurisdiction. 

There is no national database of the thousands of identified but unclaimed remains of individuals across the United States.  In many jurisdictions, mortuaries, law enforcement, and funeral homes store the ashes of unclaimed deceased individuals on shelves, in closets, in drawers, in any space available until a next of kin can be located.  In many cases, no next of kin can be found and the ashes of the individual remain unclaimed.

Several years ago, Woodbine Baptist Church and the Prince William County Sheriff’s Department partnered to provide a dignified resting place in the church cemetery for the County’s unclaimed deceased citizens.  This partnership continues today.

On Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., Woodbine Baptist Church and the Prince William County Sheriff’s Department will conduct a memorial service and interment of unclaimed deceased citizens in the Woodbine Baptist Church Cemetery.  

The memorial service is open to the public and the community is invited to attend.